In religion, paradise is a place of exceptional happiness and delight. Paradisiacal notions are often laden with pastoral imagery, and may be cosmogonical or eschatological or both, often compared to the miseries of human civilization: in paradise there is only peace, prosperity, and happiness. Paradise is a place of contentment, a land of luxury and fulfillment containing ever-lasting bliss. Paradise is often described as a "higher place", the holiest place, in contrast to this world, or underworlds such as Hell.
In eschatological contexts, paradise is imagined as an abode of the virtuous dead. In Christianity and Islam, Heaven is a paradisiacal relief. In old Egyptian beliefs, the underworld is Aaru, the reed-fields of ideal hunting and fishing grounds where the dead lived after judgment. For the Celts, it was the Fortunate Isle of Mag Mell. For the classical Greeks, the Elysian fields was a paradisiacal land of plenty where the heroic and righteous dead hoped to spend eternity. In Buddhism, paradise and the heaven are synonymous, with higher levels available to beings who have achieved special attainments of virtue and meditation. In the Zoroastrian Avesta, the "Best Existence" and the "House of Song" are places of the righteous dead. On the other hand, in cosmogonical contexts 'paradise' describes the world before it was tainted by evil.
In the apocryphal Apocalypse of Moses, Adam and Eve are expelled from paradise (rather than Eden) after the Fall of man, having been tricked by the serpent. After the death of Adam, the Archangel Michael carries Adam's body to be buried in Paradise, in the Third Heaven.
Many early Christians identified Abraham's bosom with paradise, where the souls of the righteous go until the resurrection of the dead; others were inconsistent in their identification of paradise, such as St. Augustine, whose views varied.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe, from their interpretation of the Book of Genesis, that God's original purpose was, and is, to have the earth filled with the offspring of Adam and Eve as caretakers of a global paradise. However, Adam and Eve rebelled against God's sovereignty and were banished from the Garden of Eden, driven out of paradise into toil and misery.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that disobedient and wicked people will be destroyed by Christ at Armageddon and those obedient to Christ will live eternally in a restored earthly paradise. Joining the survivors will be the resurrected righteous and unrighteous people who died prior to Armageddon. The latter are brought back because they paid for their sins by their death and/or because they lacked opportunity to learn of Jehovah's requirements before dying. These will be judged on the basis of their post-resurrection obedience to instructions revealed in new "scrolls". They believe that resurrection of the dead to paradise earth is made possible by Christ's blood and the ransom sacrifice. This provision does not apply to those whom Christ as Judge deems to have sinned against God's holy spirit.
One of Jesus' statements before he died were the words to a man hanging alongside him, "you will be with me in Paradise."[Luke 23:43] The New World Translation places a comma after the word 'today', dividing it into two separate phrases, "I tell you today" and "you will be with me in Paradise". This differs from standard translations of this verse as "I tell you today you will be with me in Paradise". Based on scriptures such as Matthew 12:40, 27:63, Mark 8:31 and 9:31, Witnesses believe Jesus' expectation that he would be bodily resurrected after three days precluded his being in paradise on the same day that he died.
In Latter Day Saint theology, paradise usually refers to the spirit world, the place where spirits dwell following death and awaiting the resurrection. In that context, "paradise" is the state of the righteous after death. In contrast, the wicked and those who have not yet learned the gospel of Jesus Christ await the resurrection in spirit prison. After the universal resurrection, all persons will be assigned to a particular kingdom or degree of glory. This may also be termed "paradise".